England Defeat Could Cost A Billion

England’s failure to qualify for next year’s European soccer championships has left the Football Association with a potential loss of £100 million, according to a leading expert on sports finance.

Tom Cannon, dean of the University of Buckingham’s business school and regarded as Europe’s leading expert on sports economics, says a raft of potential money-spinning deals will now have to be abandoned.

"The big losers would be the players," he told Sky News, the morning after the players went down 3-2 at home to Croatia. England needed a draw to qualify.

Cannon reckons the November 21 defeat at Wembley will cost the FA a pile of money that could have gone to paying for the new stadium.

He says six warm-up games at the new Wembley would have brought in up to £8 million, although that figure is dwarfed by the cost of lost TV revenues that would have poured in if England qualified for next year’s finals in Austria and Switzerland.

Sponsorship and merchandising would have brought in a few more million.

England has not failed to qualify for a major championship since Graham Taylor’s side missed out on the 1994 World Cup. Bobby Robson was the last England manager to fail to qualify for a European Championships 23 years ago.

The knock-on effect from not qualifying is that England wasn’t seeded for the 2010 World Cup draw, which took place in South Africa – the host nation – on November 25.